Monday, January 13, 2014

Soft White Muslin Ruffle Trees for Winter

So, my Christmas decorations are down.


Something about taking the Christmas decorations down makes my house feel empty. But obviously it's not, because life did, in fact, exist before I put my Christmas stuff up. You know, because I have furniture and stuff that can be put back after re-configuring for THE CHRISTMAS TREE AND ALL THE CHRISTMAS THINGS.

I think it's just the fact that the house gets so cluttered (as much as I hate to admit it) with Christmas decor that when my home finally gets a chance to breathe again and calm down it seems downright bare.

After I finally took everything down yesterday, I breathed a sigh of relief to Denny that it was done. The decorations were down.

"I thought you loved this Christmas junk?" He asked me, sort of in shock (I am married to Scrooge, by the way, thanks to the nature of his job).

"I do love this Christmas junk," I replied, "But I'm also glad to see it go."

To be honest, I kind of like this blank slate that's left behind. Especially since this is our first winter in our home, we get to experience each of the different seasons and what type of look it brings. And this is our last season of new-ness (unless we can count Spring again since most of last Spring our living room was inhabited by bean bag chairs, then YES PLEASE let's count it again).

For winter I think I'm going with simple, but cozy. In the coming weeks I'll share with you a couple crafts to help your house keep that cozy, warm feeling we all crave during these cold months (PS: just a friendly reminder that our days ARE getting longer, in case you have the doldrums like I do!), but takes advantage of all that simplicity that comes with taking down all of your Christmas decor and having that wonderful blank slate of goodness for the new year.

First, I give you my Soft White Muslin Ruffle Trees:

I feel like everyone reaches for whitewhitewhite during the winter, but I've always been wary of pure white (unless it's on kitchen cabinets, and then by all means it's on) because it's so harsh. I get it, because winter is harsh and snowy and white.

But I also crave warmth.

Also, when I use white I always gravitate to gray as well, which to me just reads dirty snow and ick.

So when I was boo-hooing last week over my lack of a.) money and b.) winter decor for my home, I was looking around and then tee-heed over the fact that I still had a good yard and a half of muslin left from the napkins I made for my Thanksgiving table. And it wasn't pure white, but a lovely off-white that just seemed so much warmer. So I grabbed it and ran with it.

You'll often see these tree for Christmas, but I figured snow-covered trees are still a central part of the landscape in winter, so why not?

To make my tree shape, I took a piece of cardstock (really a big piece of poster board from Michael's) and rolled it into a cone. Nothing perfect, because I don't have the patience for perfect when it comes to paper that I'm going to glue stuff on.

And then I taped it closed. Because I am always about simple.

I took my muslin and ripped it into strips ranging from 1" to 2" wide and however long my fabric stash was. Ripping the fabric gives the edges a nice, soft frayed look as opposed to cutting it, during which the fabric would fray in time with handling (instant gratification, helloooooo). I had already cut most of the fabric into 18" squares for me to make my napkins, so I was working with a lot of really small strips--but I am also all about working with what you have. Just so happens I had plenty of fabric, just in really small pieces. Obviously, if you buy your fabric in a two yard length, then obviously you'll have nice long strips to work with. And lucky you.

Hello, small ruffles.
 Basically, you'll make a running stitch up one side of your fabric strip, gather it into a sassy little ruffle, finish it off, and repeat...leaving you with lots and lots of ruffles.

Then you'll take your ruffles and hot glue them onto your tree form, overlapping just a smidge to cover any bare spots, but not enough to have to go through lots and lots of strips.

I think they're sweet and pretty simple. They are hanging out on my buffet right now, but I'm planning a few more for my media center in the living room and demilune table in the entry hall. I kinda dig how each one is different based on how tightly I gathered the strips into ruffles...each is a special snowflake.

Snowflake...winter...GET IT?!

Oh man, I cannot with myself right now.

Happy Monday, everyone! May your week be filled with "see-what-I-did-theres" every day.

Wanna see where I party? Click here for an awesome list of link parties I participate in..

Also linking up to:
Coastal Charm
Savvy Southern Style
Imparting Grace
Jennifer Rizzo
Party Patisserie
The Life of Jennifer Dawn


  1. Love your darling trees and would like you share them at my link party.

    1. Hi Debbie! Thanks for stopping by--I will absolutely be checking out your link party! Have a fabulous day!

  2. These are fabulous. So sweet and rustic. I'd love for you to share this at my weekly link party. Hope to see you there!

    1. Thank you, Jennifer! Thank you for the invite to your link party--I will stop by and check it out :)

  3. I really like this idea! I'm thinking of doing a couple of these to go with my trio of pinecone trees that I made for my mantel. I could use some old ivory colored flannel pillowcases that I've been saving to use as dust cloths. Cute ruffle trees sounds like a much better use for them, don't you think? Thanks for the really cute idea!

    1. Ruffles are totally more fun than dust cloths! :) Plus, I would imagine that the flannel would up the cozy factor. Please share photos if you make them, I would love to see them! Thanks for dropping in, Jenny, and have a great weekend!


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